From kindergarten to 4th grade, I had serious problems in school. It started the day I came home and told my father that Columbus had discovered America, something that I had just learned in school. Instead of being excited about my “good news,” he had a reality check for me.
African-American boys face a peculiar dilemma in Chicago’s public
schools: how to get a solid education when, more than any other group
of students, they are singled out for harsh punishments and sent
packing for days, weeks, sometimes months at a time. Some are
expelled—even in elementary school—for a year or longer. Many folks
assume that these punishments are deserved. Isn’t it true, they ask,
that black male students are more likely to behave in ways that warrant